Our tribal horn bowls, plates and frames are made of made from natural water buffalo horn.
In India, water buffalo are not wild animals – they are either domesticated to plough fields or pull carts, or they are farmed for meat and leather. Once the buffalo are deceased (through old age in the case of domestic animals, or slaughter for meat or leather), the horns and bones are utilised in handicrafts, ensuring that the whole animal is used, and nothing goes to waste.
Horn is made of keratin - the same material as our fingernails – and is a completely natural and biodegradable material. If buried, for example, horn will decompose completely within a matter of weeks.
Because it is a natural, flexible product, horn is very easy to work with – strips of horn are dampened, heated, and moulded into shape.
Care and Cleaning
Because of its delicate nature, some special care is required. Horn is very easy to scratch. It can become brittle and flaky if it dries out, or misshapen and smelly if it gets wet!
Horn should therefore be stored in a cool, dry place, away from extremes of temperature and humidity. It should never be submerged in water, and should be occasionally nourished with a little almond, coconut or olive oil. Do not use sharp utensils (eg, knives on plates), as horn is easily scratched.
It’s best to clean your horn with a dry cloth or tissue. However, items used with food can be wiped with a cloth dipped in warm soapy water, and then wiped clean with a wet soap-free cloth. Never soak or immerse the item in water. Bowls, plates, salad servers and other utensils used for eating, should be rubbed with a little almond, olive or coconut oil after cleaning to maintain their condition.